[Spellyans] dictionnaire de l'Académie française

Christian Semmens christian.semmens at gmail.com
Sat Jan 29 21:46:26 GMT 2011

I have no problem with diacritics. The lack of them in Cornish as a reviving
language has been to its detriment. Those with the peculiarly English
disdain for the tiny marks (are they too 'French' for the Anglo-centrics to
contemplate?) will probably never use them in common usage, mind you, the
usual inability for L1 English speakers to get their mouths around non
English sounds is only too obvious in any language classroom.

In KS I see a good orthography, somewhat marred by its relocation onto the
form of the SWF as its base (I preferred old KS1 to be honest). However, I
feel the biggest problem KS has to deal with is the use of diacritics.
Particularly it is with those diactitics that mark, not a particular sound
value, but a sound variance, the diaresis and the  circumflex when not being
used to show vowel length.

I appreciate the function of these, but feel that they are superfluous. The
diaresis is especially unpopular. I understand that late users will need a
different spelling to represent their sound, but I would be happy to see
that different spelling. When one writes dialect in English it must,
perforce, be in a phonetic spelling. The context is what gives the word its
value, and such a tiny degree of inexactitude I feel is a small price to pay
for not using the diaresis. The context of the word will usually
disambiguate the meaning.

As I said before, I understand the reason for its inclusion, but feel that
its presence actually undermines the arguments for the traditional basis for
KS. OK, no other diacritics were traditionally used, but their use saves us
from having to distort the traditional word forms with peculiar graphs and
are used in all other British Celtic languages. Unfortunately for the
diaresis, I feel it is one of the least, if not actually the least liked
parts of KS. I would not be sad to see it go.


On 29 January 2011 18:52, Eddie Climo <eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Perhaps it was on another discussion list that I mentioned it, but there's
> a marvellous French-French dictionary available for free downloading, that
> works with the MacOS X Leopard/Snow Leopard's Dictionary application. It's a
> recent digitisation of an older edition of the *Dictionnaire de l'Academie
> Française* and, as such, has to be taken as being authoritative in the
> most conservative register of the language.
> The ZIP file may be downloaded from Etresoft's site at:
> http://www.etresoft.com/etreref/EtreRef_Dictionnaire-AcademieFrancaise_1935_101.zip
> …and they also offer further dictionaries of the King James Bible, the
> American Standard Bible, and the Arabic-text Quran!
> http://www.etresoft.com/etreref.html
> One reason I mention this French dictionary here is the approach it takes
> to diacritics. Bear in mind that the Académie Française is the very epitome
> of conservatism in the French language, turning their Gallic noses up at the
> very idea of **le hamburgaire, •le fast-food *and **le weekend!*
> *
> *
> In this official A.F. *Dictionnaire*, you may type in your French query
> word with or without diacritics, just as you please: Académie/Academie,
> Française/Francaise, dépôt/depot all according to the choice of the writer!
> Dar!
> And that, in my opinion, is just how it should be with whatever formal
> specification of KS we ever (eventually) arrive at as a concensus of this
> group, and then submit to the Cornish Language Partnership in 2013. A
> suggested wording is:
> *"In KS, diacritics are highly recommended for use in lexicographical,
> reference and didactic material, where the highest possible degree of
> phonological precision is desirable. In less formal writings, or in those
> aimed at more fluent readers, some or all of the diacritics may be omitted
> at the discretion of the writer or publisher."*
> This simple concession defuses the arguments of those 'diacritophobes' who
> oppose the use of diacritics in written Cornish, without conceding anything
> of note to them — these people would, after all, never use diacritics
> anyway!
> I suggest that fellow members of Spellyans discuss this issue at whatever
> length is necessary, and then cast their votes so that a true consensus may
> be arrived at, and then written into the final KS specification.
> gans gorhemmynadow a'n gwella,
> Eddie Foirbeis Climo
> - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- -
> Dres ethom akennow byner re bo lyeshes
> *Accenti non multiplicandi praeter necessitatem*
> *
> *
> *
> ps. I also mentioned earlyer a German <> English dictionary that allegedly
> works with MacOS X, from
> http://lipflip.org/articles/dictcc-dictionary-plugin
> However, I found that this one somehow manages to disable every singel
> dictionary used by the Dictionary app, so I can't recommend this one at all,
> especially as it screwed up (only for the interim, thankfully!) my ability
> to use my dictionaries in proof-reading some recent translations from French
> into English and Cornish
> !
> pps. The good folk who provide the French dictionary mentioned above
> *
> _______________________________________________
> Spellyans mailing list
> Spellyans at kernowek.net
> http://kernowek.net/mailman/listinfo/spellyans_kernowek.net
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